Former Bears receivers coach Darryl Drake dies

Darryl Drake coached the Bears’ receivers from 2004-12.

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Bears wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad, left, talks with receivers coach Darryl Drake in 2006.


BOURBONNAIS — The Bears family was shaken by the death of former wide receivers coach Darryl Drake, who died unexpectedly Sunday morning at 62 in Latrobe, Pa., where he was a wide receivers coach with the Steelers.

Steelers president Art Rooney II confirmed Drake’s death in a statement. No cause of death was revealed. 

Engaging, affable and often emotional when it came to defending his players, Drake was a popular assistant under Lovie Smith in 2004-12. Bernard Berrian, Earl Bennett, Johnny Knox and Devin Hester were among the players who blossomed into productive receivers under his tutelage. Brandon Marshall, a six-time Pro Bowl receiver, had a career-high 1,508 receiving yards — and was on his best behavior — in 2012 with Drake as his position coach. 

But Drake’s effusive personality touched everybody on the team. Former Bears cornerback Charles Tillman and former defensive end Phillip Daniels were among those expressing condolences and grief at the news. 

“I am at a loss for words during the sorrowful time,” Tillman said in a tweet. “Darryl Drake was a great man who loved the game of football but more importantly he was a great father and husband. My heart hurts knowing he is no longer with us. I will always cherish the good times and the many laughs we had.” 

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